Plans to start charging for on-street parking on evenings and Sundays could dent Harrogate’s night-time economy, the Chamber of Trade has said.
North Yorkshire County Council has proposed parking charges on Sundays, and a £2 flat rate charge for after 6pm parking at on-street parking spots.
This proposal is a kick in the teeth for visitors, residents and traders alikeCounty Coun David Simister
Currently charges are in place on town centre streets on Monday to Saturday between 8am and 6pm.
The council hopes the extra charges will increase availability of parking spaces.
The news comes in a week when motorists have critised another county council scheme - the new crossing on Cheltenham Parade (see readers letters, page 28).
Brian Dunsby, chief executive of Harrogate Chamber of Trade, said: “We are always concerned about anything that may deter people from coming into the town centre.
“The evening charge will be particularly frustrating for our night-time economy, which already sees the main multi-storey car parks closing around 7.30pm, leaving little choice but on-street spaces.”
Restaurant owner Gareth Davies, who co-owns the Yorkshire Meatball Company, on Station Bridge, said: “You would hope that people will come and eat out but there might be a drop in footfall in the town centre. Town centres need as much help as they can get – this could push people out to retail parks.”
County Coun David Simister (UKIP, Bilton and Nidd Gorge) said: “This proposal is a kick in the teeth for visitors, residents and traders alike.
“These measures will drive shoppers to out-of-town complexes where parking is free day and night. It will also have a massive impact on those who worship in town centre churches, in particularly the elderly.”
The report, which is due to go the county council’s Harrogate Area Committee on Wednesday, says Sunday trading is now far more popular and that the current situation does not allow for the turnover of spaces.
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